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Side Effect of Your Brain

Posted by Michael Dolan on March 19, 2016 in Uncategorized |

Regulators can rule the words in televised drug commercial but not the message. The combination of words, image, pace, and framing can often overcome viewer doubt.

 

The FDA requires drug companies to state certain warnings about their products so people can make informed decisions. But there is a way to circumvent your safeguards, according to Bruce E. Levine on Alternet.

 

“A major technique used to weaken the impact of the warning section is for it to be reported by an off-screen voice.” Levine reports “In contrast, we routinely see a person having life-changing improvement after taking the drug, and seeing that person’s transformation creates a mental billboard.”

 

Found out the details here: http://www.alternet.org/drugs/why-tv-drug-ads-work-despite-disclosing-terrifying-side-effects

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De-coding the News

Posted by Michael Dolan on February 22, 2016 in Uncategorized |

 

          Do you know what “Populist” and “Developing economy” really mean, according to most reporters?

          These are just two of eight “toxic euphemisms American empire uses to numb us to its brutality,” writes Adam Johnson of the left-leaning Alternet.  Worth reading regardless of your political orientation. I missed the true meaning of “no-fly zone.”

          “Through repetition and folksy appeal, oft-repeated expressions become not only intellectually corrosive, but political weapons,” said.

          Learning the “real” meaning of all the terms: http://www.alternet.org/media/translating-8-most-common-code-words-reveal-us-medias-imperial-mindset

 

 

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Politician Writers Never Learn

Posted by Michael Dolan on January 30, 2016 in Uncategorized |

Latest example comes from liberal darling Elizabeth Warren. Interesting thought requires originality. Which Warren did not exercise in her latest New York Times op-ed, according to Ben Mathis-Lilley of Slate.

 

“I’m having trouble remembering anything Warren said about it because her column sounds like it was written in 10 minutes using a bag of Progressive Political Rhetoric Clichés that someone left in a closet at the MoveOn office in late 2008,” he writes.

 

Where to find a solution? Mathis-Lilly recommends our friend George Orwell.

See more:

http://www.slate.com/blogs/the_slatest/2016/01/29/elizabeth_warren_times_op_ed_clich_heavy.html

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Who is “Yankee Doodle”? Why a “macaroni”?

Posted by Michael Dolan on January 27, 2016 in Uncategorized |

You’ve sung the song. It has an interesting history. See it here:

http://www.vox.com/2016/1/26/10832840/yankee-doodle-meaning

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Undefined = Untrustworthy

Posted by Michael Dolan on November 1, 2015 in Uncategorized |

Even if you don’t agree with his politics, it’s easy to agree with Thomas Sowell’s idea of why vague phrases are used to manipulate voters.

Plans to “soak the rich,” for example, are popular but unrealistic and lack factual basis, writes the senior fellow at the Hoover Institute

“Whether in politics or in the media, words are increasingly used, not to convey facts or even allegations of facts, but simply to arouse emotions,” he says. “Undefined words are a big handicap in logic, but they are a big plus in politics, where the goal is not clarity but victory — and the votes of gullible people count just as much as the votes of people who have common sense.”

 

See more: http://townhall.com/columnists/thomassowell/2015/10/21/politicians-words-n2068012/page/2

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“Diversity” part of the problem

Posted by Michael Dolan on November 1, 2015 in Uncategorized |

I don’t know about you, but I have always considered “diversity” the newest way of including people — applying to people from various races and ethnicities.

Ellen Berrey has convinced me otherwise.  She describes herself as an academic but otherwise does not clarify her position in an otherwise excellent essay on Salon.  She says the word is just another way to avoid talking about America’s race problem

“Even in the hands of the well-intended, diversity leaves us without a language for making sense of ongoing racism or deliberating effective policy responses,” she writes. “But with what other issue of inequity do we think that the solution is just talking about it? Health care? No. We create insurance plans that buffer people from bankruptcy. Hunger? No. We create emergency food pantries and free school lunches.”

She supports her view here: http://www.alternet.org/news-amp-politics/diversity-white-people-big-lie-behind-well-intended-word

 

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1984 Will not End

Posted by Michael Dolan on October 24, 2015 in Uncategorized |

This essay breaks no new ground in discussing George Orwell’s novel 1984.  But it does show how the books ideas continue to maintain supremacy.

Robert Hassan, Associate Professor, School of Culture and Communication, University of Melbourne, is actually reviewing the play 1984.  The play addresses the post modern surveillance state as it exists today.  Hassan puts the current ideas in context.

“But physical terror alone has its limits. It must be accompanied, as Orwell saw in Mein Kampf, and in an idea he freighted into 1984, by what Hitler called ‘the big lie’, die grosse lüge. To repeat a lie as truth endlessly through narrow communication channels that people cannot avoid will convince many, or enough of them, that it is true: 2 + 2 = 5.”

Interesting what he says about Facebook.

 

See more: http://theconversation.com/goodbye-to-all-that-orwells-1984-is-a-boot-stamping-on-a-human-face-no-more-49041

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Demonizing “Liberal”

Posted by Michael Dolan on October 24, 2015 in Uncategorized |

As the meaning of certain political words evolves, the power dynamics in society often change.

David Morris, co-founder of the Institute for Local Self-Reliance, discusses some of those changes over the past half century.  His points are thoughtful even if you don’t agree fully.

Check out what he has to say about “welfare,” “entitlement” and “equity.”  Here is his essay: http://www.alternet.org/culture/words-matter-what-language-we-use-tells-us-about-our-current-political-landscape

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I’ll Try a Stupid Question but it’s not Fair

Posted by Michael Dolan on October 24, 2015 in Uncategorized |

Those are just a few of the phrases you should avoid at work, according to Dr. Travis Bradberry, the cofounder of TalentSmart.  But that might be tougher than you think, Bradberry said, because the phrases tend to creep up on you.

 

See his whole list of “career killers” at http://www.independent.co.uk/news/business/news/11-things-you-shouldn-t-say-at-work-a6692601.html

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“Liberal” Interpretations

Posted by Michael Dolan on August 26, 2015 in Uncategorized |

Poll after poll shows big government projects have lost public trust. Wide skepticism greets the announcement of any new proposed social program. Can you even remember the last time the federal government tried to fix a social program the way it did in the 1960s, 1970s and into the 1980s? What happened to the liberals?

Now even liberals run away from the term. For a while they called themselves “progressives” but that didn’t work because nobody understood the difference.

Can the diminishment liberal politics trace back to an attack on the term itself?

Liberal writer David Morris of the Institute for Local Self-Reliance and ad its initiative on The Public Good, argues persuasively that political opponents first sought to demonize the word in order to undermine the philosophy.

“By the 1990s the word ‘liberal’ had almost become radioactive,” he writes on Alternet. “A famous 1996 GOPAC memo titled, Language: A Key Mechanism of Control offered election campaign advice from Newt Gingrich to Republican candidates. The memo helpfully listed dozens of words candidates should use to promote themselves and denounce their opponents. On the negative list was the liberal along with words like ‘intolerant,’ ‘traitors’ and ‘corrupt.’”

 

Read it all: http://www.alternet.org/culture/words-matter-what-language-we-use-tells-us-about-our-current-political-landscape

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